Monday night may be the night you like to stay in. And, perhaps it is a good night for cooking at home as many restaurants are closed on Mondays. But, if you want to have that home-cooked meal and don’t want to do the work, head to Smoke.Oil.Salt in West Hollywood.
Smoke.Oil.Salt is an authentic Spanish restaurant and wine bar known for its traditional Catalan dishes (paella, fideua, wood-grilled fish and seafoods). But, on Monday nights, Chef Perfecto Rocher is preparing a traditional stew from Valencia, a region south of Catalan.
At Smoke.Oil.Salt., Chef Rocher’s Valencian Putxero is served on a “TV Dinner/School Cafeteria Tray” with the items in different sections. Traditional Valencian Putxero is a Spanish stew made with rice, lamb, beef, pork, pilotes (Valencian meatballs), chickpeas, potatoes and other vegetables. This stew may vary from household to household in Valencia but it always contains meat, vegetables and sometimes sausage with ingredients typical to the area where it is prepared.
In the center of the tray is the most important dish, Pilotes. Pilotes are minced meat mixed with egg, parsley, cinnamon, pine nuts, and a pinch of pepper and salt, forming a large oval meatball and wrapped in cabbage leaves and cooked in broth with fideos (short pasta). The meatball is tender and the soup, which could have been hotter, was light and simple.
To the left of the Pilotes is roasted beef and lamb.
On the top left of the tray is chickpeas with cabbage and tomato.
At the top on the right is vegetables – potatoes, napicol (turnip), cardoons, parsnip and rutabaga.
On the right of the Pilotes was fried chicken. It was crispy but personally there was something to the texture that I did not like.
All of the dishes on the tray are subtle in flavor. Seasoning is minimal. It is recommended that you take bites from each section as you go, instead of eating one section at a time. This helps the flavors come together and will not overpower one another.
The tray is a complete and balanced meal that even comes with dessert in the top section. The dark chocolate pudding/cake with whipped cream is a perfect portion for dessert….just a few bites of creamy dark chocolate.
Putxero platters are $35 each and wine selections are available a-la-carte.
Valencian Putxero Night is every night from 5:30pm to 10pm.
7274 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046